Michigan point guard Trey Burke gives a thumbs up during a pre-draft workout.
Trey Burke taken 9th by Minnesota Timberwolves, then traded to Utah.
Burke had seen his stock rise, fall and rise again in the days and final hours before the NBA draft.
They weren’t drastic changes — just about every network and analyst pegged Michigan’s point guard as a bona fide first-round selection.
Burke said earlier in the week he anticipated the uncertainty, yet the moments before the draft had to have been agonizing.
Finally, on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Burke got some clarity on his future.
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected the 5-foot-11 Columbus native at No. 9 in the first round of the NBA draft. The New York Knicks selected Tim Hardaway, Jr., a guard and Burke's college teammate, at No. 24.
Still, before the first round of the draft ended, the Timberwolves traded Burke's rights to Utah as part of a three-player trade, for the 14th and 21st picks of the draft, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.
"I'm happy where I'm at," Burke told reporters in Brooklyn. "It's a blessing to be in Utah and playing for the Jazz. I think the type of player that I am, I definitely get motivated by things like that. Teams passing up on me. Not knowing what to expect at the end of the day.
"So I definitely think it will motivate me. It will make me get in the gym more. Just get better, continue to work hard."
Burke and teammate Hardaway declared for the NBA draft after Michigan lost to Louisville in the national title game in April in Atlanta.
Burke, 20, opted to leave Ann Arbor despite having two years of eligibility left; in 39 games as a sophomore, Burke averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists.
Burke was named the Associated Press College Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year andSports Illustrated Player of the Year in men’s basketball, and won the John Wooden Award as the top college men’s basketball player ofthe year and the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the U.S. BasketballWriters Association’s top college player of the year.
On Thursday, Burke was named one of four ESPY nominees as the Best Male College Athlete.
“We try to dissect people in many ways, but Burke is a guy that shoots the ball well,'' Ryan Blake, the NBA’s senior director of scouting, told NOLA.com in May. “He's got a greatassists-turnover ratio. He defends well. He takes little chances on his defense at times, which can be corrected. He's got great anticipatory skills. The most important thing about Trey is that you got a confident player. He wants the ball in his hands and has the ability to make others better.''
ESPN.com this week ranked Burke as the No. 4 overall draft prospect, behind Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo, while ESPN NBA analyst Chad Ford put Burke at No. 10 in a mock draft he released Thursday afternoon on ESPN.com - up two spots from his previous mock draft.
SportsIllustrated.com, SportingNews.com and CBSSports.com projected Burke as the sixth pick.
Ford also projected Hardaway, a shooting guard, as a low first-round or early second-round pick.
“Hardaway is all over the place. He has worked out really well," Ford said. “Hardaway is the type of player that a coach would love. He’s older, he’s more polished, he comes with a basketball pedigree, all the coaches know what his dad did there. I’ve watched him work out. He’s very polished, very smooth. He’s a hard worker. He’s competitive.”